Department of Trade and Industry (DTI)-Central Visayas Regional Director Asteria Caberte. (PNA file photo)

CEBU CITY – Micro and small entrepreneurs in Central Visayas affected by the enhanced community quarantine can now borrow funds from the government to help their distressed businesses amid the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI)-Central Visayas said.
 
Asteria Caberte, regional director of DTI-7, said the agency is opening a PHP1-billion enterprise rehabilitation financing (ERF) for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) affected by the crisis brought by Covid-19.
 
Through the DTI’s financial conduit, Small Business Corporation (SB Corp), the ERF facility will be implemented under the department’s Pondo sa Pagbabago at Pagasenso (P3) program, she said.
 
Caberte said the loan facility aims to restore and reinstate the financially distressed businesses during Covid-19 pandemic.
 
“The loan facility is also open for businesses who want to re-structure or re-purpose their business operations to suit the recent demand of the market,” she said in a statement.
 
Caberte said micro enterprises with asset size of not more than PHP3 million may borrow PHP10,000 up to PHP200,000, and small enterprises with asset size of not more than PHP10 million may borrow a higher loan amount but will not exceed PHP500,000.
 
The borrowed funds are expected to be used to update loan amortizations for vehicle loans or other fixed asset loans of the business, replace inventory for damaged perishable stocks, and as working capital replacement to restart the business, she added.
 
Caberte further said a grace period on payments will be given to borrowers until such time the Covid-19 crisis has abated.
 
Although SB Corp still has to release the requirements and guidelines of the ERF, she is encouraging MSME business owners to contact any of the DTI Central Visayas provincial offices to signify their interest and to get an endorsement from the corporation.
 
The telephone numbers and email addresses of DTI-7 provincial offices can be found on their official website or its social media page.
 
Borrowers may also contact SB Corp’s toll-free hotline 1-800-10-6513333 or email [email protected] or [email protected].
 
The program can also be viewed through  https://www.facebook.com/PondoSaPagbabagoAtPagasenso/.
 
The ERF facility forms part of the Philippine government’s PHP27.1-billion package of priority measures to help fight against Covid-19 and provide relief to affected sectors. (PNA)